Monday, January 17, 2011

The 9 Fruits: Part 4

I Want it NOW!

Galatians 5:19a The acts of the flesh are obvious...
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The 4th fruit we will talk about is forbearance. It is also known as patience or longsuffering. In the Greek and in the Hebrew this word conveys the notion of not getting all that you a good way.

I think of all the fruits of the Spirit, this is perhaps, the one that we could all use more.  I mean, just think of how this one fruit could change the way we do ministry or how we live our life.

I mentioned this one time before, so if you remember it, sorry, but its just too funny not to mention again.  I once saw a calendar with a picture of a baby orangutan and he was looking up to the sky and shaking his little hairy fist..."I want patience", it said "and I want it NOW!". Many jokes have been made of this because it is so universally needed.  Everyone will recognize their lacking of it in their own life.

In reality however, it is seldom funny.  It is seldom not needed.  And if you listen to the news on any given day, you can identify rhetoric which is laden with impatient harshness and over the top judgmentalism. We could all use a great big dose of it...and you know it.  Just ask my wife.  She will tell you how much I need it!

However, this fruit just does not stop at not saying harsh words and controlling the tongue.  Paul means that the Holy Spirit goes further...much further.  He goes straight to the heart.   Like God who has forbearance and patience and does not give everyone what they truly deserve, but is merciful and loving, so we, as Christ's ambassadors, must exercise the same.

So as my wife said just the other day when talking to someone who did her a wrong...she said she stopped before saying anything and said a short silent prayer..."Lord please show me how I can show YOU in me when I talk to the person."  It is that simple.  Give it to the Lord.  Remember what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit,  "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."  He will not leave you . He will not abandon you. He will be with you till the very end.

Blessings all!